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Nitrogen contribution of field pea in annual cropping systems. 2. Total nitrogen benefit

Beckie, H.J., S.A. Brandt, J.J. Schoenau, C.A. Campbell, J.L. Henry and H.H. Janzen. 1997. Can. J. Plant Sci. 77: 323-331


The total nitrogen (N) benefit of field pea (Pisum sativum) to a succeeding non-legume crop was measured in a small plot experiment at Scott, Saskatchewan in the moist Dark Brown soil climatic zone, and in a small plot and landscape experiment near Melfort, Saskatchewan in the moist Black soil climatic zone from 1993 to 1995. The total N benefit was calculated as the difference in net N mineralized from soil plus N in the above- and below-ground crop residue between field pea and non-legume stubble-cropped plots over the growing season. Landscape slope position did not affect the total N benefit of field pea to a succeeding wheat crop, and pre-seeding tillage had an inconsistent effect on the total N benefit between years. The direct N benefit of field pea aboveground residue available to the succeeding crop in the landscape experiment was a minor component of the total N benefit, which averaged 25 kg N ha-1. The total N benefit was equivalent to the N residual effect, defined as the amount of fertilizer N required for a non-legume crop grown on non-legume stubble to achieve the same yield as that of the non-legume crop on field pea stubble. This confirms that the N residual effect of field pea to the succeeding non-legume crop was due to the N contribution; any non-N contribution to the N residual effect was effectively excluded.

Key Words

Pisum sativum, Triticum aestivum, Hordeum vulgare, Brassica rapa, Linum usitatissimum, total nitrogen benefit